7ft Russian boxing champion Nikolai Valuev is mysteriously taken to hospital weeks after being drafted to fight in Ukraine
- Valuev, 49 and now a pro-Putin politician, was rushed to hospital on Thursday
- According to Russian media, he complained of leg problems
- Spokesman Valery Kuzenkov issued a bizarre denial to the reports, saying “no one broke [Nikolai’s] legs” and that he is “alive and healthy” at home
- The former boxer then took to Telegram to tell his followers ‘everything is fine’
- Valuev was forced to retire from boxing in 2010 due to a brain tumor
Seven-foot former world heavyweight boxing champion Nikolai Valuev has reportedly been rushed to hospital weeks after being drafted to fight for Putin in Ukraine.
Valuev, 49 and now a pro-Putin politician, was rushed to a Moscow hospital Thursday night after complaining of leg problems, according to Russian media.
Spokesman Valery Kuzenkov issued a bizarre disclaimer, saying “no one broke [Nikolai’s] legs” and that he is “alive and well” at home.
Valuev also wrote a note on Telegram to say “everything is fine” and he will be on TV commentating on boxing on Friday, not denying he was in hospital.
Seven-foot former world heavyweight boxing champion Nikolai Valuev has reportedly been rushed to hospital weeks after being drafted to fight for Putin in Ukraine
Valuev, 49 and now a pro-Putin politician, was rushed to a Moscow hospital Thursday night after complaining of leg problems, according to Russian media. Pictured: A Ukrainian soldier fires an anti-tank missile at an undisclosed location in Donetsk region, Ukraine, Thursday, November 17, 2022
‘Thank you all for your concern and best wishes. Everything is fine. We work. Tomorrow fights on the first channel. As usual, I will comment on what happens in the ring. See you on the first one, he said.
Rumors of ill health arise just weeks after Valuev revealed he had been drafted to fight in the war in Ukraine.
He was forced to retire from boxing in 2010 due to a brain tumor.
Speaking to Russian news outlet Izvestia three weeks ago, he said he would ‘of course’ go to the front lines where Putin’s army is being pushed back by Ukraine amid reports of hundreds of dead per day.
“Next week, I will definitely report to the enrollment office,” he added.
But Valuev remained in Russia, where Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu have now declared the mobilization over.
He gave no indication since when – or if – he will report to work.
Members of the Russian elite dodged the draft, which fell mainly on the poorer and more remote regions of the Far East.
Fraudulent phone calls made by members of the opposition to the children of prominent figures – including the son of Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov – revealed that they confidently predicted that they would never be sent to the front.
Meanwhile, those mobilized have complained of horrific conditions, poor training, outdated equipment and heavy casualties on the front lines.
Valuev was a two-time WBA title holder and is still the tallest and heaviest world champion of all time. He is over seven feet tall and weighed over 23 stone in his fighting days.
at 7 feet, Russian Nikolai Valuev is the tallest and heaviest boxing world champion of all time
Valuev fought David Haye in 2009 (pictured), losing to the Brit by majority decision
Ukrainian servicemen work to dismantle a broken tank after it knocked over an anti-tank mine near Novopetrivka, Ukraine, November 17, 2022
Valuev made his professional fighting debut in 1993 and has competed in 52 fights, winning 50 of them – 34 by knockout. In 2005, he became Russia’s first world heavyweight boxing champion.
He fought David Haye in 2009, losing to the Brit by majority decision.
This turned out to be his last stand, and he entered politics to become a deputy from Putin’s United Russia party two years later.
Valuev was treated for “serious bone and joint problems” in 2010 and later underwent surgery which resulted in him being medically advised to quit boxing.
The former boxer is also said to be obsessed with Bigfoot and has spent many years scouring the Siberian wilderness in search of the creature.